The 20 Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated From Students

School is far from perfect, as teachers will tell you, and the job is not free from its absurd moments. One “extra” task that is not necessarily part of the teacher’s typical job description is confiscating items from students, such as phones or toys.

It’s almost like an act of rebellion in itself, defying the rules and trying to get away with something deemed unacceptable. But in some cases, teachers have had to take things that go beyond what we normally think about.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the strangest items teachers have confiscated from students, according to Reddit, and the stories behind them are often pretty funny.

A Gorilla Mask

gorilla mask

“A gorilla mask…yes…dude put it on while my back was turned and facing the board. I laughed like hell, then took it for the day until his parents collected it,” one teacher admitted.

A Bottle of Vodka


“A bottle of vodka ‘hidden’ in the girls’ bathroom by 7th graders,” one teacher under the username tempaccntnow commented. The students wondered how she knew where to look. It was quite obvious; everyone who returned from the bathroom looked drunk, so the teacher put two and two together. 

A Vape


The same teacher also confiscated a vape. The student’s excuse: “My mom gave it to me for allergies.”

The teacher offered to give it back to the mom, to which the student, then wide-eyed, said, “No!!”

One person described the lies similar to “a toddler swearing he didn’t steal any chocolate while it’s smeared all over his face.”



Teacher username tempaccntnow reported confiscating a pair of 30-06 shells from a student in class who had been banging the primers together to see if they would go off.



One teacher was astonished when their students were found to have made their own form of napalm. They had been sniffing petrol but wanted an easier way to transport and conceal the substance, so they asked a science teacher for instructions on how to make napalm. This resulted in a school-wide lockdown and the involvement of a hazmat team to dispose of it.

A Shot Gun


One user wrote about the time a 10-year-old schoolgirl brought a shotgun during an altercation with a boy at her school. The girl had confided in her father about a boy who was bullying her, and his solution was to provide her with a shotgun to intimidate the boy. Unbeknownst to everyone at the time, the gun was unloaded, but this shocking display of aggression deterred the boy from ever coming near her again.

A Lighter


One teacher who worked as an elementary special education teacher, who dealt with students who had “emotional disabilities and intense behaviors,” discovered that a first-grader had a lighter. This was not the craziest thing the teacher had confiscated, but rather, the story around it.

The teacher warned that playing with lighters isn’t safe and the dangers of potentially starting a fire that could spread beyond his control – resulting in harm to himself or others. The student felt terrible and apologized profusely. He admitted to playing with lighters at home when his mother was sleeping.

A Lighter

lighter 2

They informed the mother about the situation, and she was angry, saying it wasn’t his lighter and must belong to a friend. The mother was convinced that her son had been forced to make such a confession, and she instantly removed him from school. Unfortunately, the family’s home burned down a year later, with the former student sustaining serious injuries in the blaze.

S** Toys


Teachers have also found every kind of s** toy. Of course, the younger students had no idea what they were and innocently found them at home while playing.

One teacher who confiscated these items said it is best not to react strongly in these kinds of situations; just take them away.

A Wedding Ring


One teacher reminisced on the time she confiscated a wedding ring from a 4-year-old. The student was in love with a six-year-old girl and thoughtfully wanted to give it to her. On other occasions, the same student brought his dad’s car keys and a bottle opener to school.

A Wedding Ring

wedding ring

“I was in this situation,” one user commented. “This guy gave me a ring; we were ten, I believe. I asked how he got it because it was a really nice ring; he said his mom,” the girl told him to return the ring, to which he responded that she told him he could give it to her.

“He left school a few months later but never asked for the ring back,” the person said. “Looking back, his mother definitely didn’t give him this ring. It had real diamonds in it.”

Hand Sanitizer

hand sanitizer

“I had to confiscate hand sanitizer from a student who decided to drink it to get drunk and threw up EVERYWHERE,” one teacher wrote.

Someone responded: “And this is why, kids, it is important to listen in chemistry class.”

“This actually came up in a chemistry lab,” one person said. “One guy heard sanitizer had alcohol in it, and you could see his eyes light up. The teacher had to calmly explain why he’d probably die/get violently sick.”

A Dead Squirrel

dead squirrel

A preschool teacher admitted to confiscating a dead squirrel.

One Redditor could relate to this, having a flashback about a time in school when he plotted revenge by planting a dead squirrel in a bag. “My primary school ‘girlfriend’ got kissed by a dude from her class, and I was super mad,” he wrote.

“The kid who kissed my girlfriend was, and still is, a notorious liar, so when they found it in his bag, nobody believed it wasn’t him, and he couldn’t say anything to prove it wasn’t.”

$1000 in Cash


A teacher was having lunch with her class when the lunch lady informed them that one of the students had attempted to purchase something with an unusually large amount of cash.

The teacher called the student’s house and learned that the girl decided to take her own allowance, which happened to be $1000, instead of her usual 50 cents.

The mother was extremely worried after realizing she had misplaced the money earlier that morning. This incident occurred in the early 2000s when it was still common to pay bills with cash in person.

A Grenade


One user spoke about the unfortunate time a grenade was brought to school. “Still had the pin it in, and the whole school was evacuated… It wasn’t WW2.”

Broken Glass

broken glass

A teacher had the shock of their life when one of their 6-year-old students brought in a piece of a broken beer bottle to school.

The student had been asked by another classmate to bring some kind of weapon in order to retaliate against another kid.

The teacher sought to do more than just suspend the two children, as they were only 6 years old, but school policy required them to be suspended for a few days.


cat in backpack

One user claimed to have found a cat in a high-schoolers backpack.

Another user reminisced on the time they found a fish in a vase during one of the locker checks. It was a betta fish in a large vase with a reading light attached and a jar of fish food nearhand.

“No one claimed to know whose it was or how long it had been there,” the user said, “so it lived in the coaches office for at least that year.” 

A Cellphone with Pornography

cellphone kids

“Not a teacher, but a bus driver. I had to confiscate a 5th grader’s cell phone a few days ago, specifically because he was showing h***core pornography to first graders with it… Lots of phone calls that day…”

A Load of Fireworks


In 1984, a nine-year-old student brought fireworks to school in a cardboard toilet roll that had been sealed up at one end. The student had created a fuse out of blue touchpaper and used masking tape to seal the top. Yes, nine years old.

When the teacher, who was in his sixties, noticed the student was distracting classmates, he promptly confiscated the item. But at the end of the day, he gave it back to the student. A few days later, when the fireworks were set off, it caused a hedge to catch fire.

“Kids, the 80s really were a different time,” the user who told the story, fletchindubai, admitted.

A Private Journal

private journal

One user remarked how a teacher had confiscated her private journal in the 7th grade and read it.

Another commenter recalled a sixth-grade teacher who had asked her to keep a personal diary that was meant only for her.

On one particular day, the student wrote about being angry with this same teacher in full detail and entered the classroom during recess to find they were crying after having read it.

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The list of items teachers have confiscated from students is endless. From the silly to the serious, it is evident that teachers must remain vigilant and up-to-date with their knowledge of school protocols when dealing with students and their belongings. At the end of the day, it’s a teacher’s duty to educate and keep their students safe

This article, The Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated From Students, was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Reddit source.

I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

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3 thoughts on “The 20 Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated From Students”

  1. I can’t bet a grenade or a dead squirrel. But in grade school, my teacher confiscated a tin of smoked oysters the kid in front of me was eating. That isn’t something easy to hide – the whole classroom stunk by the time she got it out

  2. In the sixth grade a new student brought his spit can to class because he chewed tobacco.


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